Class 2A: FAMU Wins Second Consecutive Championship
Wed. February 20, 2013 at 9:38 p.m. | By Aimee Sachs
Tallahassee FAMU players celebrate their 57-34 win over Academy at the Lakes in the Class 2A championship game at The Lakeland Center on Wednesday. (Photo by SCOTT WHEELER | THE LEDGER)
By AIMEE SACHS
LAKELAND | The ending wasn't dramatic, but the result was the same.
Tallahassee FAMU didn't need a 3-point buzzer-beater from LaKaris Salter this time because the Baby Rattlers won their second straight Class 2A state championship in commanding fashion with a 57-34 win over Academy at the Lakes Wednesday night.
FAMU scored 36 points in the paint and 22 points off 24 turnovers.
"Overall, I'm very pleased," FAMU coach Ahmad Aliyy said. "It's a state championship game, and teams are going to step up. Records don't matter. You have to come out here and play. That's what I always tell my girls."
Salter led FAMU with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Jasmine Jones played like a veteran with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Aaliyah Barrington added 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
"It means a lot for our school, for our city, for our basketball team, for our players, for me, for the seniors who worked very hard," Salter said. "They really wanted it."
The Wildcats, who had run up and down the floor and all over Sheridan Hills Christian in the Class 2A semifinal the night before, just couldn't find their rhythm — or their confidence.
Tatiana Manuel and Andrea Mauger combined for 47 points in the semifinals. On Wednesday, they combined for just 18. Academy at the Lakes lost to FAMU in last year's semifinal, and Wildcats coach Karim Nohra said Tuesday he didn't know if there was anything Salter couldn't do.
"He knew us," Aliyy said of Nohra. "He knew how to try to attack us. He told me, ‘Coach, I just don't have the horses you have.' He may not have the horses, but he played a pretty smart game."
The Baby Rattlers were all business when the final buzzer sounded, but is a blowout a better way to win a state championship than a buzzer beater?
"That's a tough question," Salter said. "I'd have to say both. Just winning's great."